Patsy Cline was a hardworking, gutsy woman. That rich voice stilled makes me ache sometimes when I hear her voice and think what we missed by her untimely death. This painting of her is at the Visitors Center in Winchester. The town just commemorated the 50th year of her death.
Virginia Patterson Hensley was her name by birth. She married Cline and then Charles Dick.
At the cemetery, this huge bell tower memorial is dedicated to her. Bells seem so appropriate to me.
Jim and I then stopped by her house. Jim had been once before, but her popularity has increased to the point where you cannot park right in front of the house. Her mother’s home is just across the street.
The house is now open to tours, but, better than a tour is the docents we met, two cousins of Ginny’s. Ginny is what the family still calls her, short for Virginia.
We had such fun visiting with Pat, on the left and her daughter, Pam, on the right. They told us about the house, that it at one time had kerosene lighting. The Hensley’s lived on the “wrong” side of the tracks. And much like Janis Joplin, her hometown didn’t exactly accept her when she first became a famous singer. It boggles my mind how mean-spirited people could be to their fellow-man/woman and still call themselves Christians.
Patsy quit high school to take on three jobs to help support mom and her brother and sister. She worked at a Gaunts Drugstore, she worked the counter at a Newburys, and she swept out buses at the Greyhound station. Newburys was right next door to the theater, and they had amateur nights there. Ginny would take off her apron, run to the theater, sing in the program, and then run back to her job.
Pam pointed out a walnut tree that Ginny planted. She loved her garden and always had herbs and a vegetable garden. She had two children, Julie and Randy Dick.
She loved flowers and this is the side yard of the house.
Cousin Pat lived on a farm and cherished the visits she shared with her cousin Ginny as a child. Her mother was a sister to Ginny’s mother, Hilda, who would babysit them when Pat’s parents came to town to have their wheat ground, or other errands. Pam was only a year old when her famous cousin died. She tells how the relatives excitedly watched the Arthur Godfrey hour when Ginny received the star award and got her big boost. They have a tape of that event and she enjoys seeing the film and hearing stories about her famous cousin. It was so much fun talking with them; warm and caring people. We bought a copy of a new book about Patsy.
I grew up without television and not much radio, either. I’ve never been star struck, but I love it when the famous person can be real to you and that is what Pat and Pam did for us yesterday, and we thank you.
We then spent the afternoon at the Shenandoah Valley Museum. A large complex that also includes a Civil War Battlefield site and the Glen Burnie House and Gardens. The house is closed for renovation. It was beastly hot. We skipped everything but the air-conditioned exhibits, and they were excellent. I’m having family visit us today, so I’ll have to finish the museum part of my blog tomorrow.